The report that Ali al-Megrahi, the alleged Lockerbie bomber (released recently on the grounds of poor health), received ovation from African Members of Parliament in Libya is disgusting and shameful. The 57-year-old was serving a life sentence in Greenock prison for the 1988 bombing of PanAm flight 103 over Lockerbie, which killed 270 people.

The speaker of AU parliament, Idriss Ndele Moussa from Chad, said he and his colleagues had come to “express solidarity”. To express solidarity! Alas… this is but criminal solidarity. He’s quoted as saying that Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi was a “… victim of international injustice and a policy of double standards”.

Legally speaking, al-Megrahi is a terrorist. Giving him a standing ovation is nothing but condoning terrorism and yawing. What AU’s MPs did is conspiracy so to speak. They don’t see the danger today. Time will come when this new marriage with terrorism will flail.

Why did such a respected institution behave this way in the first place? The reason is simple. By attending 40th Anniversary of Gadaffi’s revolution, they’re given gifts; yum-yum even kickbacks that geared them show such suicidal solidarity. Today, in supporting Gadaffi, they’re openly honouring a convict terrorist! Tomorrow they’ll likewise issue a statement supporting even al-Qaeda before the whole outfit flail.

Their presidents recently backed Sudanese Dictator Omar Bashir, who is wanted by ICC for genocide in Darfur. Let’s not to forget how they cowed down before Robert Mugabe. What pains, the same countries whose presidents and MPs support terrorism, are the same creatures spending much time in European capitals begging! What I just can’t understand is: why are rich countries being so sheepish and timid before such double faced creatures of Africa?

By backing al-Megrahi, Gadaffi has shown openly how he’s relegating back to financing terrorism, after getting the support from Hugo Chavez among others. Those who know why Gadaffi denounced terrorism and became a “good boy” before the West, still remember. He backtracked after seeing what goons like Saddam Hussein got from their megalomania. Now that the heat is off, Gadaffi daydreams about going back.

Gadaffi is lucky that tough guys like George Bush are no longer in power,  otherwise, he’d be manacled and taught a lesson. He’d have been held accountable for this new take on terrorism, despite all parody of bringing him back to the fold.

If the West does not want to repeat regrettable mistakes that will cost it a lot, it should not tolerate and trust Gadaffi anymore. It should shy away from being satisfied with the redress Libya paid to the victims of Lockerbie. Middle East dictators did the same. They hypocritically cheated, goofed America, that they support it on the war on terrorism. But the same dictators, apart from allegedly producing many terrorists that attacked the US on September 11, did finance terrorist organizations.

This, to some extent, forced some Americans to think and believe that their colleagues were killed and ignored, thanks to saving petrol business in lieu of the livelihood and security of Americans and all that perished on September 11. And truly, this has been repeated in the case in point.

This can be easily traced in the words of British justice secretary Jack Straw’s spokesperson. He was quoted as saying: “And yes, that included trade because trade is an essential part of it and subsequently there was the BP deal.” BP’s ambitions are currently causing mayhem in Nigeria where fights over oil have become the order of the day. Refer to how Ken Saro Wiwa and his colleagues were butchered simply because they questioned this sacred business.

Once again this proves how Western countries sacrifice innocent people thanks to their dubious vested interests in poor countries. Just imagine. If Western countries can release a terrorist that killed hundreds of their people, will they pay any damn when it comes to the rights and lives of the people in poor countries? Currently in Tanzania, famous Maasai in Loliondo are being evicted to give room to an Arab investor who decimates animals like crazy. This was recently reported by big newspapers in the West: The Guardian, Economist and The Financial Times, after local papers warned but were either gagged, reprimanded or ignored.

In Mara region, there has been reported grave environmental degradation caused by foreign investors mining gold there. Sadly the story is the same almost everywhere in Africa. In Kenya, the murder case involving Lord Delamere’s grandson, Tom Cholmondeley, left Kenyans breathless thanks to stupid protective policy in investment and the leniency of the court towards investors and top government officials. In Uganda, we still remember how an Indian tycoon was offered Mabira forest, as opposed to the interests of Ugandans. Thank lord they stopped this bulimia.

To halt this new criminal solidarity, several steps must be taken. Firstly, seeking explanations from African countries individually then AU itself. This will help to avert the repetition of this flaw. It they hardened their heads, rich countries should stop helping and supporting them. I wonder how countries whose budgets depend on donors would develop such myopia and criminal solidarity!

Secondly, the citizenry must give their corrupt governments a heck so as to make them ungovernable. By making them ungovernable, the darling investors will never risk to do business in chaotic environment. Refer to how recently the US issued a new directive warning its citizens to visit Zanzibar after it was tarnished by chaos resulting form political unrest thanks to a doctored voter’s registry.

Thirdly, donor countries should stop the double standard and favourably hunkering with multinational corporations doing business in Africa.

Fourthly, they should stop casting a blind eye on corrupt African rulers, that they use to rob Africa’s resources. And this is why stinking dictators and thieves like Denis Sassaou Ngwesso, Teodoro Obiang Nguema and Paul Biya are still in power plundering and ruining their countries. My cry has always been to categorize theft by rulers a crime against humanity. For it kills many especially in Africa.

Nkwazi

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.

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